Since the beginning of the year the class has been counting the number of days we have been in school. Last week our class celebrated the 100th day of school. We participated in hands-on activities that reinforce numeracy concepts we learn in kindergarten. These include number sense, counting with one to one correspondence, rote counting and number recognition.
Students made a trail mix with 100 food items. They counted 10 items of 10 different foods, reinforcing the concept that 10 groups of 10 equals 100.
The class made hats out of 10 strips of paper with 10 items on each strip.
We made necklaces of 100 items, towers of 100 snap cubes and puzzles with 100 pieces.
During the week leading up to Kid Inventor's Day, each kindergarten student had the opportunity to create an invention of their own with their Grade Six buddy. Some students chose to make something they like and others made an invention to solve a problem that they have. The process began with sketching their idea and compiling a list of materials. As the students worked on their project during the week they learned to make adjustments and solve problems in order to complete their invention. The week culminated in a gallery walk in which another class was able to view their creations!
As we near the middle of the year, the kindergarten students and their grade six buddies have each developed a positive learning relationship. This month they have had the opportunity to read together and create an art project. We were able to combine our study of winter and the grade six student's study of mosaics. After reading Sadie and the Snowman, each buddy group created a snowman using cut paper. Kindergarten students were able to practice their cutting skills and collaboratively decide with their buddy what their snowman would look like.
We are looking forward to Kid Inventor's Day. The class enjoyed listening to and seeing the instruments that the "Junkyard Symphony" played at the assembly on Tuesday. They used instruments made out of recycled materials. Our class is going to work together with their buddies to invent and build something of their own. We will be working on this project this coming week!
We had quite a busy week in our classroom! Early in the week, we looked closer at Rememberance day and what it means. We explored the elements of peace, and the role of poppies in thinking about people who are in the military and working for peace. Students created their own poppies using paper, scissors, glue and tissue paper. We read the books "A Poppy is to Remember" as well as "The Peace Book". We talked about how when countries or people get into conflicts, there goal is often to have peace and when we wear a poppy, it is both to remember those who helped countries stay safe, as well as to think about those who are no longer with us. Later in the week, we continued our interest and themes with rocks, minerals and fossils by bringing in a special guest who is a geologist. He show the students a collection of different types of rocks, minerals and fossils. Students had some great comments about the rock features "What are the pockets and holes for in volcanic rocks? "Why are minerals shiny?", and had some good questions about fossils as well "Did scientists have to dive to the bottom of the ocean to collect the fish fossil?". We talked about observation and how scientists look closer through observation and draw what they see. Finally, we had a caterpillar brought into the classroom by one of our students as well as some dried plans and seeds. This was of interest, since we know the weather has gotten colder with snow on the ground. How do plants start to change?
A new month brought some new themes to look at more closely, specifically colors, color mixing, and shapes. The topic of color comes up alot in Kindergarten, as it is a bit part of our world and something many learn about from a very early age. This week, students had a chance to explore the primary colors: Red, Yellow and Blue. We read quite a few books exploring how with these three colors, we can make new colors. We used diluted water colors, eye droppers and petri-dishes as materials so students could control the amount of color and area for their experiments. Some students started asking about how to make colors lighter and darker, and discovered how all the colors together make dark brown or black. Students also had a chance to make some designs and patterns with geometric shapes, do some number and quantity matching, letter matching, and look closer at some different rocks and fossils. By the end of the week, some students discovered how some rocks have materials that can be seen and used--fragments mixed with water made a sort of paint material, while the coal had a dark powder that could be used with a pencil. More to come with this new investigation into rocks and minerals!! For now, here is a look at our week in pictures.
What a busy week it was! We explored different elements of numeracy, literacy and fine arts and sensory exploration connected to the changes that happen in late fall, as well as the seasonal event of Halloween! Although not every family celebrates this day, we explored some common elements that are present in this festive day and looked a little closer at some pumpkins! Students got to examine and draw two very different sized pumpkins. After our week exploration asking questions such as "Which was heavier? which was lighter?" we weighed both on the scale just to compare the sizes. We also measured the circumference of each using a string. Students also created some story-scenes using different sizes and shapes of paper. Following a pattern, they had to put the scene together using the paper. They also got to try some festive stamps to create both a setting and practiced using stencils to create characters. To finish off the week, we read Pete the Cat & the Five Little Pumpkins and created some black cats and pumpkins to re-tell the tale.
We have been looking at various festive themes this week leading up to Halloween, and one of the subjects that came up was skeletons. We read the book "Dem Bones" and talked about the different bones in our bodies--what are they connected to? What do they help us with? Many of the students talked about how skeletons aren't as scary when we think about how they are bones inside of our own bodies. We then got to work with our grade 6 buddy class to create our own skeletons using Q-tips, glue, paper and paper. Each was slightly different in terms of how the body was put together, but students discussed the common features each skeleton has, and how when bones move, the rest of the body moves with it.
Kindergarten students have an opportunity each day to explore and discover concepts related to early numeracy, early literacy, fine arts, social studies, science and movement and manipulation through what we call 'exploration centers'. These centers are hands-on and interactive in nature. These centers are set up for one week and then changed to reflect different skills or inquiry topics we are exploring. This week, students had a chance to explore numbers 1-10, upper and lower case letter matching, creating letters with molding clay, create a fall scene using our imagination station, manipulate scissors at our cutting station, look more closely at the items collected from our nature walk, as well as look at and create patterns using different colored and shaped beads.
After our nature walk to Riley park, students had some excellent questions about insects and where they go and what they do when the weather gets colder. A specific question that came up was about bees. Where do they live in the fall and winter? Our classroom Education Assistant, Mrs. Little, happens to know quite alot about bees, as she even has her own hive at her house! Students were very excited to learn more about bees, how they make honey, explore the honeycombs using magnification glasses, look at some photos of the hives, as well as try some of the honey. It was a great morning full of lots of questions and wonder...
What better way to experience the changes in the season then to go outside! As part of our daily morning routine, we as a class discuss the weather. What we notice when we are walking or driving to school. Is it sunny? Cloudy? Rainy? What about the season? Today, students were eager to explore the changes that have been happening outdoors since we are in the new season of fall. What do we notice about the sunlight and the temperature of the air? We went for an hour nature walk at the local park--Riley Park. Some of the questions that we explored: Why are some leaves yellow and some still green? What do we notice about the fall? Why are leaves on the ground? What are the different shapes and sizes of leaves? During the walk, students had the opportunity to collect leaves, twigs and pinecones in their own paper bags to bring them back into the classroom to look at with a magnifying glass and on the light table.